Thursday, November 3, 2011

Polywell Report - 3 Nov 2011

The researchers at Polywell Fusion have issued a report on their progress.
Project Status More than 50% Completed

Final Project Report Submitted No

Project Activities Description Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services

Quarterly Activities/Project Description As of 3Q/2011, the WB-8 device has generated over 500 high power plasma shots. EMC2 is conducting tests on Wiffle-Ball plasma scaling law on plasma heating and confinement.

Jobs Created 12.00

Description of Jobs Created two full time plasma physicists and one full time microwave engineer. In addition, one full time equivalent electrical engineer.
It is not much of a report but it is all we have.

H/T The Boys and Girls at Talk Polywell where you can find a discussion of the nuances.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Polywell - News From Our Government

I have been too much into politics at my other blogs and so have been remiss in reporting Polywell news. This news is about a month old.

It is from pdf page 35 (numbered page 25) of Recovery Act Tracker [pdf].

10. Plasma Fusion (Polywell)

The Plasma Fusion (Polywell) project is a combined Navy/Defense-wide effort to demonstrate a fusion plasma confinement system for shore and shipboard applications. This procurement is a follow-on to initial research into small-scale nuclear fusion systems using a unique approach of energy matter conversion. It covers research, analysis, development, and testing to validate the basic physics of the advanced gaseous electrostatic energy concept. The objective of this procurement is to provide the Navy with data for potential applications of advanced gaseous electrostatic energy. It builds on previous concept-demonstration benchtop versions of plasma wiffle balls. NAWCWDChina Lake awarded one contract action, valued at $1.3 million, for this project. NAWCWD-China Lake contracting efforts complied with Recovery Act requirements, the OMB guidance, the FAR, and DoD implementing guidance.

H/T ladajo at Talk Polywell

Screaming Very Low Power Microprocessor

I have a new article up at ECN Magazine about a microprocessor that can do 90 billion instructions per second for a power cost of about 1 watt. Pretty good huh? It gets better. The chip has 144 processors in the package and when they are all idle the chip uses only 14 microwatts.

GreenArrays (the company that makes the chip) has partnered with another company to make the processor available to hobbyists.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Microsoft Looks At Polywell

Well not Polywell directly. More like a fusor. A program started by Richard Hull at the instigation of Robert Bussard and Tom Ligon.

Here is part of a message on the subject I got forwarded to me by e-mail.
On April 28th 2011, the Microsoft Corporation held its annual Hardware Summit. This year’s theme was “Envisioning the Future”. The Summit was comprised of three primary technical offerings. The first was the Hardware Summit itself with featured presentations and keynote address. The second was a vendor showcase, and finally there was also a “Garage Science Fair”. I was unaware that a decision was made at Microsoft Headquarters early on to move our offering from the “science fair”, to the “Featured Speakers” forum. We directly followed Dr. Brian Greene the keynote speaker on the first day of the forum. Our team was offered to several hundred corporate employees, as nothing less than professional scientists.

The cool and collected demeanor of our team under extreme pressure, as well as solid execution of their operational duties left the audience drop-jawed. Many of the early arrivals began snapping pictures with their cell phones, and forwarding them to other employee’s. The result is that we concluded with standing room only. Dr. Brian Greene, noted author and physicist from Oxford University was conducting a book signing on the first floor when he heard about our team. He left his signing to personally attend the rest of our presentation. Below was the write-up on the Agenda. Next Wednesday, Channel 9 from Microsoft will be here to film us in action. And we hope to do a presentation at the Pacific Science Center sometime this summer. The reactor was reviewed in detail by fire, security and nuclear safety personnel who found us to be in compliance for the show.
You can find out more about what they do at The North West Nuclear Consortium.
The North West Nuclear Consortium is a privately held youth group currently meeting in Federal Way Washington. It was created in direct response to needs expressed by both parents and students of public and private schools in South King County. They feel that Technology and Science curriculums are no longer interesting to students, due to budgetary constraints, and changes in school policy brought about by the abuse of tort law. Mr. Greninger leads a Christian fellowship at his home, and felt this was a challenge his group could not ignore. Starting in mid-2009, Mr. Greninger begin visiting a local youth camp with a “high voltage” show, in which he demonstrated large tesla coils and Van De Graaff generators, as well as other “gee-whiz” physics.

The youth group that was spawned through these shows now meets at Mr. Greninger’s home and studies one of the most exciting high end physics curriculums in the state.
You can find out more about Polywell at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained


Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Polywell - Positive Results

Alan Boyle has the latest on Polywell.
A Navy-funded effort to harness nuclear fusion power reports that its unconventional plasma device is operating as designed and generating "positive results" more than halfway through the project.
And that is not all:
"It's a very nice machine," he said. "I like what we have so far. It's quite well-built, relatively flexible to actually explore a lot of areas and find what's best. Achieving the plasma for fusion is obviously a tall order. ... You don't just push the pedal on a Ferrari and drive the car. Like an F-18 or a stealth bomber, you have to learn how to operate it properly."
Park figures that the money provided under the WB-8 contract should last until the end of the year, depending on how efficiently the EMC2 team is able to stretch the money out. By then, the engineers in New Mexico and their backers in the Navy should know whether it's worth going ahead with the next step, perhaps even with the big demonstration reactor. Park hopes that WB-8 will be the last small-scale experimental machine EMC2 will have to build.

"This machine should be able to generate 1,000 times more nuclear activity than WB-7, with about eight times more magnetic field," said Park, quoting the publicly available information about WB-8. "We'll call that a good success. That means we're on track with the scaling law."

Don't expect weekly updates about EMC2's progress. "Currently all our funding comes from the Navy," Park said. "That's our customer. Our customer desired that we keep most of our progress confidential. ... They're somewhat concerned about making too much hype without delivering an actual product."
Go read the whole thing.

Thanks to the boys at Talk Polywell for the heads up. Good discussion of the implications there.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

General Fusion Gets Funds

General Fusion is getting funding to continue their experiments.
General Fusion Inc. has closed a US $19.5 million Series C round of financing led by Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX/NYSE: CVE) with participation from Bezos Expeditions (Jeff Bezos), Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd., Braemar Energy Ventures, Entrepreneurs Fund, BDC Venture Capital, and SET Venture Partners.
This is good news for the General Fusion guys.

You can read more about the General Fusion concept at Steampunk Fusion.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Polywell Update 1 May 2011

Finally there is some news about Polywell Fusion progress. From here is the essential news.
Projects and Jobs Information

Project Title Federal Contract

Project Status More than 50% Completed

Final Project Report Submitted No

Project Activities Description Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services

Quarterly Activities/Project Description As of 1Q/2011, the WB-8 device operates as designed and it is generating positive results. EMC2 is planning to conduct comprehensive experiments on WB-8 in the next 9-12 months based on the current contract funding schedule.

Jobs Created 11.00

Description of Jobs Created two full time plasma physicists. one full time equivalent electrical engineer.
So figure another year before the final report. In the mean time testing is ongoing.

There is a funny in the report. Note: jobs created = 11 and actual jobs created (as provided by a description of the jobs) is 3. Government accounting.

If you would like a fuller discussion of what this report means may I suggest a visit to the Talk Polywell board.